THEOSOPHY, Vol. 22, No. 5, March, 1934
(Pages 194-196; Size: 10K)
[Compiler's Note: All 12 articles have the same name.]
THE FRIENDLY PHILOSOPHER(1)
[Part 5 of a 12-part series]
H.P.B. showed herself a true Teacher when she said, "Do not follow me nor my path; follow the path I show, the Masters who are behind."
The wisdom of this advice is seen in observing the course of those who judged of the teaching by what they could see of the teacher. They judged her by their standards, not by her adhesion to the Theosophy she taught. W. Q. Judge had similar judgment passed on him, primarily because he upheld H.P.B. first, last, and all the time. This was the underlying cause of the attacks made on him by those who should have been his defenders. They were fearful of "authority" -- so fearful they tried to convey the impression that they could explain her away, could tell where she was right and where she made "mistakes"; thus making a claim to authority that she never made. They minimized the only possible source on which reliance could be placed, while Judge continually pointed to her as the Teacher to whom all alike should look.
Those who followed his example and advice then, or who will follow it now, found and will find where she pointed. In effect it comes to this, that those who professed or who profess to look to H.P.B. as their Teacher, do not do so unless they also look on Judge as she looked on him. If they minimize or vilify Judge, they have to minimize and vilify H.P.B.
We are striving for Unity first, and as far as possible leave out points that may antagonize. Theosophy itself, pure and simple, is the great "unifier"; more we can encourage others to study and apply Theosophy, the more will they see for themselves the parts played by the various persons and personages in the movement. Our work is to inform, not to proselyte.
The Masters used Colonel Olcott because he was fit for the work he was given to do, and the only one at that time who could do it; and furthermore, he was willing, despite his failings, to stick to his task without hope of reward. It is certain that he missed much that he might have had, and finally let the Society drift into the wrong hands through his very inability to discriminate. For this, he alone was to blame; but the law adjusts and will adjust. We cannot judge as between him and Those who used him. They did not condone his faults. They used his virtues -- and gave him every opportunity to increase them. Perhaps his close and unremitting attention to the exoteric work he had to do, prevented attention to his own nature, so that he thought he was entitled to some relaxation of the kind he understood. It may be that some knowing his faults, and that he still did good and prominent work for the Movement notwithstanding -- have reasoned that the faults do not count, and can be atoned for, or overlooked, as is the case with many a public man by reason of service. This is a mistake, for the path of true Occultism and that of immorality do not coincide. The Masters do not judge anyone, nor can They "forgive" anyone for sins of omission and commission. Naturally They must stand as did the Essenian Master, when he said, "Let him that is without sin amongst you, cast the first stone." Masters have to use such material as exists. If anyone has lapses, so much the worse for him and for the work. It should also be remembered that so long as one is willing to stay in the work, he can. Each stays or goes out in accordance with his own desire. The door is never shut on him by the Law, and the laws of Occultism do not permit "removal for cause." It is strange that so many who have studied Theosophy fail to understand these things, but never fail to characterize and pass judgment.
And all this applies, not to Colonel Olcott only, nor to any particular person. It applies to all and sundry -- ourselves included. All through the writings and conduct of H.P.B. and Judge, condemnation of others is warned against; yet those who elected themselves to be their students paid little attention either to warning or example. This led either to condemnation of persons, or to worship of them, and then to dissensions and disruptions, ending in total lack of discrimination. The Path of Brotherhood and the Path of Occultism are One Path.
Of course, here and there, all the crimes in the calendar have been committed by professed theosophists, but the majority, in the old days as now, have been good men and women -- many times misled by their own ignorance, by their misconceptions, by their desires and passions sometimes, but honestly striving with their enormous difficulties. Olcott was not young when he was "pulled out of the fire," and had the vices of his time and position in the world. But he did what no one else at that time would undertake; the Masters assisted him, while knowing his weaknesses; and we should judge him by what he did for Theosophy. So also with Mrs. Besant, who is sincere, if mistaken. In Mrs. Tingley there is apparent lack of sincerity, and much that is the opposite of theosophical conduct. When questions are asked, and when occasion compels it, plain statements of fact have to be made, but in defense of Theosophy, not in condemnation of any person. This is our key to a right attitude in all such cases presented by theosophical history, made or in the making. It may be a hair line -- but we have to find it, and while pointing out truth, whether in Theosophical philosophy or history, to avoid condemnation, even where names have to be mentioned. Where others have made mistakes and gone wrong, they become a vicarious atonement for those who might have done the same thing but for the lesson learned from the errors of others.--ROBERT CROSBIE.
COMPILER'S NOTE: The following is a separate item which followed the above article but was on the same page. I felt it was useful to include it here:
THE CONSTRUCTIVE MIND
Doubts and questions have arisen as to some things since the present cloud gathered. Among other it has been said that it were better that ------- had left the chair; it would be well for him to go, and so on. These views should not be held. If held, they should be dismissed. There are two forces at work in the T.S., as well as in the world and in man. These are the good and the bad. We cannot help this: it is the Law. But we have rules, and we have preached of love and truth and kindness; and above all, we have spoken of gratitude, not only of Masters, but among us. Now all this applies to the question of ------- ... Now let me tell you: the work must not fail because here and there personalities fall, and sin, and are unwise. TRUTH remains, and IT IS, whoever falls: but the multitude look to the visible leader. If he falls apart like an unjointed puzzle, at once they say, "there is no truth there, nothing which IS": and the work of a century is ruined ... and years of backward tendency must come between the wreck of one undertaking and the beginning of another. Let me say one thing I KNOW: only the feeling of true brotherhood, of true love towards humanity aroused in the soul of someone strong enough to stem this tide, can carry us through. For LOVE and TRUST are the only weapons that can overcome the REAL enemies against which the true theosophist must fight.--W.Q.J.
THE FRIENDLY PHILOSOPHER
[Part 6 of a 12-part series]
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GROUPING OF HUNDREDS OF "COLLATED ARTICLES"
Back to the full listing containing all of the
"Additional Categories of Articles".
ONE (1) FOOTNOTE LISTED BELOW:
(1) [Note: The Index that I selected this series from said that the 12 articles were "Collated from Robert Crosbie". Researching this, I found the collation to be made up of 12 of his many letters. On another note, "U.L.T." refers to "The United Lodge of Theosophists".--Compiler.]
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